On July 12, MRA joined a diverse group of more than 200 stakeholders in Washington, DC under the aegis of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the first step towards the Obama Administration's "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights" initiative. The White House has tasked NTIA with hosting multi-stakeholder meetings to develop "voluntary" codes of conduct for industries to adopt and follow on consumer privacy.

In opening the first meeting, focused on mobile apps privacy, NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling emphasized that his agency was, "not going to impose our own judgement" on the process. While the diverse and conflicting views in the room made it a major challenge to even agree on a process to follow, professional facillitator Marc Chinoy managed to slowly coallesce the stakeholders around some common interests and priorities.

It remains unclear exactly how this proccess will proceed. MRA will attend a follow-up meeting in August. There will also likely be a series of subcommittees and working groups, with an emphasis on public transparency that may mirror the workings of the similarly diverse World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). MRA expects to be engaged in as many of these efforts as may be necessary to represent the privacy interests of the survey and opinion research profession.

UPDATE: MRA members can read all the details about the meetings and process.